This article contains spoilers for Marvel’s Jessica Jones season 2 episode ‘aka Start at the Beginning’.
Marvel’s Jessica Jones was released at midnight on International Women’s Day — a fitting moment, since all the episodes this season are written and directed by women. The episode kicks off with Jessica (Krysten Ritter) doing the same thing she was doing at the start of season one: perched with her camera to catch someone being unfaithful. She photos a pizza delivery guy making time with a woman. Then we cut to Jessica showing the photos to a woman who owns a pizza parlor. Before Jessica can get her check, the delivery guy returns and the woman wants Jessica to kill him since she’s done it before and is a vigilante superhero. Jessica scares the guy off then tells the woman off — like Jessica does — and leaves with a pizza.
We then cut to Trish (Rachael Taylor) in a sequence mini-dress and wig signing the theme to ‘It’s Patsy’ at a kids birthday party in exchange for a file on IGH, the company behind Jessica getting her powers. Trish shows the file to Jessica, pushing her to investigate the missing 20 days between the accident where her parents and brother were killed and when she showed up on hospital records. Jessica wants nothing to do with that and leaves Trish on the roof. And we get the idea Trish is being followed.
Malcom (Eka Darville) wakes Jessica the next day so she can meet her potential clients. There is a woman looking for her missing son, a guy talking about not being sure about blowing the whistle on his company even though they’re hurting people, another woman, and then there is Robert (Jay Klaitz). Robert is a heavy-set guy dressed in a yellow hoodie and has a blue backpack. He tells Jessica that someone is trying to kill him, but because he has super speed, he’s been able to stay alive. When Malcolm asks him to show them his speed, he says it’s fear-based — he’s only fast when he’s scared. He says that his super hero name is The Whizzer because that’s what they called him in school. Jessica turns down all of them.
Then her next appointment shows up — a guy named Pryce Cheng (Terry Chen), another P.I. who wants to absorb Alias Investigations and have Jessica work for him. She refuses, but he says he doesn’t take no for an answer — meaning this will continue. He leaves and Jessica tries to follow but is blocked by new tenants moving in, including Oscar (J.R. Ramirez), the new building super.
We’re re-introduced to Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) as she receives an award, and we learn she’s still dealing with legal fallout from her ex-girlfriend/assistant. Cut back to Trish, who has a talk about ratings with her boss, who keeps pointing at a news anchor on the television named Griffin Sinclair (Hal Ozan) that he’d love to have on the show. She says no on that.
Jessica finds out that Cheng has swiped one of their clients, so she stakes him out and he notices her. He then sends her his entire life story (taxes, college transcripts, etc.) to prove he’s an open book and there is no dirt on him. Trish then shows up at the office with a box containing the ashes of Jessica’s family. Trish uses them to try to push Jessica again, admitting that she would love to have powers so she could help people. Jessica pushes back, but keeps the ashes in the office. The Whizzer stops by a second time, begging for help, but she turns him away again.
Jessica recovers a dog that one of Cheng’s clients is desperate to get back and then delivers it while the guy is in Cheng’s office. She shows him up, and Cheng is furious. He pushes her buttons and it turns to blows. Jessica throws him through a glass door and dislocates his shoulder, but stops herself from killing him. She’s arrested and Trish comes to bail her out, along with her boyfriend, Griffin Sinclair. They talk a bit more about the IGH case and Jessica seems to be warming towards the idea, but she’s afraid the answers might make her worse. She leaves.
Trish and Griffin go to a charity event where Trish gets a glimpse of the guy whose following her — and it looks like Will Simpson (Wil Traval) from season one. And he’s using some kind of weird inhaler. We find out that Cheng was hired by Hogarth to go after Alias because Jessica wouldn’t work for her anymore. Now Cheng wants Hogarth to help him sue Jessica because he feels she got off too easy.
We go back to Jessica’s office, where the Whizzer speeds into her office with a gun. He’s angry she won’t protect him, telling her that hey made him this way and the meds they send him are just trying to make him normal. She gets the gun away from him, but he starts speeding around the office, finally throwing one of the boxes of ashes at her. It breaks open and goes everywhere. He then speeds out of the building. She leaps down five floors after him, telling him she believes him. He’s not buying it and runs. She follows and watches as a bunch of scaffolding collapses on top of him. He dies with a metal rod through his chest. The police call it an accident. Jeri goes to see her doctor and gets bad news, though we don’t get the details.
Malcom returns to the office and finds the ashes on the floor, Jessica yells not to step on “him” — the ashes of her late brother. Malcolm starts cleaning up the ashes when Jessica realizes that the Whizzer left his backpack. She finds that the meds have no prescribing doctor. They track down the manufacturer and get a lead on a location called Industrial Garment and Handling… IGH. Jessica goes there and breaks in, finding the building deserted. But as she looks around, her memory keeps flashing back to when she was a kid and was being held there. She realizes that both she and the Whizzer were made there… along with someone else that the Whizzer called a monster.
The first episode is great. There is so much going on and it feels intense, but it doesn’t feel rushed. The Whizzer reference, a real Marvel character, seemed like a fun Easter egg, including his yellow and blue outfit. It got even better when it turned out he really had powers. But I’m guessing he’s not the only one from those four clients that will play a role later on. Possibly the whistleblower. Griffin seemed too perfect — there’s more to him. I didn’t expect to see Sampson, aka Nuke, back this season. But I think the biggest thing to me is Jessica’s brother. I don’t remember there being a brother mentioned in season one, but they are stressing it here — which makes me wonder if her brother really died or if he was turned into the monster. Feels a bit obvious and clichéd, but also good for drama.
And on to episode 2…